IWB holster concealed carry
Dan Z. for TTAG
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I teach high school English, a profession commonly thought to number among the most touchy-feely. I love books. And if that weren’t bad enough, I’m a professional, classically trained singer, a first tenor. Yes, the highest male voice. One of a few good (and rare) men, sometimes in tights.

I regularly don a tuxedo and sing the works of the masters with a symphony orchestra, and I often get paid for singing. I occasionally wear a Renaissance costume — tights and all — and sing madrigals.

I’ve been known to shed a tear at the occasional movie, and even during the many years on the police force in my misspent (relative) youth, people, upon learning my job, would exclaim in surprise, “You don’t look like a cop!”

They couldn’t tell me what a cop looked like, but they were pretty sure it wasn’t me.

Dan Z. for TTAG

Knowing that background, it’s not hard to understand that people are often surprised to learn that I’m a certified firearm instructor and carry a concealed handgun virtually everywhere. And a spear gun in the shower. OK, I’m exaggerating a little about the spear gun. Maybe.

This requires explanation, and the occasional trip to the range to introduce a neophyte to the joys and responsibilities of shooting. Those explanations and conversations inspired me to think about why I carry a handgun, and upon occasion, to update and refine those reasons. Occasions like now.

I carry a handgun because:

* I can’t foretell the future. I carry not for the things I can anticipate, but for the things I can’t.

* Evil exists and may confront anyone at any time and any place.

* Self-defense is a God-given, natural, unalienable right.

* There is no gift so precious as God’s gift of life.

* To fail to protect the greatest gift devalues all life.

* My life is worth far more to me, those that love me, and to a just society than the lives of vicious brutes that would take it.

* The lives of the innocent—friend or stranger—are worth far more to me and to a just society than the lives of vicious brutes that would take them.

* Three times in my life I have raised my right hand and sworn a solemn oath to uphold and defend the Constitution.  I have never betrayed those oaths and never will.

* The Constitution is only paper, a statement of principles and intentions. When the will wavers and when some wish to change, ignore, or destroy those principles and intentions for light and transient reasons, only the threat and force of arms will suffice to preserve liberty.

* From time to time, politicians forget their place. The carrying and use of arms by law abiding citizens helps them, gently, to remember.

* A handgun is the most convenient, usual, and effective means of self-defense.

* By carrying my handgun, I honor the foresight and wisdom of the Founders in writing the Second Amendment.

* Going armed reinforces and upholds the Social Contract.

Thomas Jefferson
By Rembrandt Pealehttp://www.whitehouseresearch.org/assetbank-whha/action/viewHome, Public Domain, Link

* I know that Thomas Jefferson was right: 

“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”

That’s why we have a Second Amendment, not for hunting, not for self-defense, but to allow the common man–if necessary–to resist a tyrannical government and always to deter tyranny.

* It demonstrates — day after day — that I am the master of my government, not its slave; that elected officials work for me.

* I am a free man and no evidence of that fact is more meaningful and convincing than that I own and carry the firearms I prefer.

* It sorely vexes those who would enslave me—all of us—through tyranny, soft or hard.

* It reminds them that in America, there are lines no rational, honest politician dare cross.

* It reminds them that in America, there are lines no irrational, dishonest politician dare cross.

* It reminds them that every iota of power they possess is on temporary loan from me and every other American.

* It reminds us all that the whims of the highest politician may not prevail over the Bill of Rights because our will has not flagged and will not flag.

* It is the very means by which an oppressed citizenry may force despots to respect the Bill of Rights.

* Because politicians harboring tyrannical intentions fear armed citizens like a vampire fears a crucifix, it serves to positively identify those that hide behind spin, teleprompters and clever lies.

* Most politicians care about the welfare and continuing existence of individual citizens only in the abstract. Even honorable politicians can do little more than those who only pretend to care.

* Even in our democracy, tyrants are always present and always waiting their chance.

Hubert Humphrey
By Yoichi Okamoto (White House photograph) – http://www.lbjlibrary.org/collections/photo-archive/photolab-detail.html?id=769, Public Domain, Link

* With this in mind, Hubert Humphrey, one of the most famous and orthodox Democrats of the last century was right — and refreshingly honest and non-partisan — when he said: 

“Certainly one of the chief guarantees of freedom under any government, no matter how popular and respected, is the right of the citizens to keep and bear arms. This is not to say that firearms should not be carefully used and that definite safety rules of precaution should not be taught and enforced. But the right of the citizens to bear arms is just one guarantee against arbitrary government and one more safeguard against a tyranny which now appears remote in America, but which historically has proved to be always possible.”

* I am old-fashioned enough to think it my duty to protect those who have less ability than mine to protect themselves.

* I could not live with myself for failing to protect a woman in danger. Call it sexist if you must, but if you’re unarmed and under attack, would you really want to call an unarmed, untrained statist? Would Pajama Boy save you?

Pajama boy

* I know human nature.  Like the Shadow, I know what evil lurks in the hearts of men.

* I know that many criminals experience pangs of conscience.  I also know that it does not prevent them from being predators, only that it occasionally causes them to feel badly, for a few fleeting seconds, thereafter.

* I know that sociopaths exist, in greater numbers than most imagine, and that they have no conscience.

* I know that some people really like hurting others. Rarely does one need to engage in psychological navel gazing to understand the actions of predators. They do it because they want to do it, because they like to do it, and some, because it is an intense sexual thrill.

* I know that such people are everywhere, and are for most, impossible to pick out from the mass of humankind.

* I know that such people can be stopped only by the presence of overwhelming and imminent force: the gun.

* I know that living a virtuous life is no defense against such people.

* Those who willingly and meekly surrender to criminals surrender more than valuables; they surrender their dignity and honor; they surrender civilization itself.

* I know that having a Progressive political and social philosophy not only is no defense against such people, it encourages, helps, even creates them.

* I know that only bullets will stop some predators. Using reason or empathy on such “people” is like the cries of a wounded bird to a carnivore.

* Politicians sometimes speak of “war on crimes.” They have no idea. The streets are the battlefield, and whether we like it or not, we are all the combatants.

* The predators that would carry that battlefield into our homes are usually the most dangerous of all.

* The police have no legal obligation to protect me—or anyone.

* The police simply can’t protect anyone; there are far too few of them and far too many of us.

* When seconds count, the police are always minutes (or in some places an hour or more) away.

* I accept personal responsibility and live accordingly.

* As an adult, I am solely responsible for my continuing existence.

* As an adult, I am also responsible for the continuing existence of children.

* Accepting personal responsibility encourages me to be continually aware of my surroundings, to be tactically, situationally aware.

* Having situational awareness makes it more likely I won’t ever need to use my handgun.

* My training and experience give me confidence that if I do need it, I will use it effectively and properly, though I will always pray to be fast and accurate.

* It gives me the ability to deter those younger, stronger or more numerous than myself.

* It gives me the ability to defeat those younger, stronger or more numerous than myself if they are too stupid, too drugged, or too predatory to be deterred.

* I know that criminals fear the guns of armed citizens far more than the guns of the police. They should.

* Domestic terrorists and murderers have always been with us. The victims and survivors of Columbine High School, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook, the Boston Marathon attack — and I — have no doubt of this.

* In virtually every school shooting in recent American history, the police played virtually no role in stopping the killers. Armed citizens did.

* We are at war with uniquely deranged, blood-thirsty terrorists determined to slaughter Americans on American soil.

* I have no doubt that Islamist terrorists are waiting for their chance again on American soil. I have no doubt others will soon walk over our open borders.

* I frequent the places (schools, theaters, shopping malls, grocery stores and other soft targets) terrorists long to attack.

* I can imagine few feelings worse than being unarmed when and where a terrorist attack takes place.

* Even unarmed, I would have no option but to attack armed terrorists shooting innocents.

* Armed, I would be able to save at least some lives and stop at least some killers.

* I could not bear the thought that I was less prepared than the Boy Scouts—in any situation.

* It is important to me to know that I can make a real difference when it most matters.

* I appreciate well-designed and made devices.

* Firearms are like fire extinguishers.  When one is needed, it’s needed right now, badly, and nothing else will do.

* The discipline of the gun helps to make me a better, more aware and more effective person.

* Thomas Jefferson was also right when, in 1785, he advised his 15-year-old nephew and ward:

“A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercise, I advise the gun. While this gives a moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise, and independence to the mind.”

* Shooting and being a part of the “gun culture” is uplifting and simply fun.

* I recognize that I am the weapon; the handgun is simply a tool.

* Everyone that carries a handgun, without incident, every day, makes a stronger legal and political case for fully honoring the intent of the Founders and expanding Second American freedoms.

* The mark of civilization is not what a man or a people are willing to say about it, but what they are willing and able to do to defend it.

* The battle for liberty never ends. I’ll do my part, symbolically, and if necessary, in fact.

* Foremost, I am an American; I am a free man; it is my tradition and heritage.

* As an American, I do it for no reason other than I want to.


This post was originally published in 2014.

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        • I scanned thru it, read some. There’s some good ones in there. The thing of it is tho, I do not need that many reasons to own and carry a gun, or many guns. And so I’ve no interest in so long a list.

        • enumerate these and when someone asks you why you carry tell them to pick a number twixt 0 and 74.

    • Your loss if you were too busy or too lazy to take 5 minutes to read this article. While the article may have been slightly long, it did contain some very salient points. That is exactly what the mainstream (lamestream) media counts on the American people to do. Busy or lazy people just read or hear only the attention grabbing (and sometimes half-true) headlines without taking the time to delve into the matter, look at ALL the facts from all sides, and then make a rational, unemotional, intelligent, and independent decision. Would you want a police officer to briefly skim over or ignore relevant witness statements and pieces of evidence before making an arrest?

    • Madcapp,

      What did you do with all the time that you saved using initials, that no one understands, rather than writing a sentence in English?

      • Being Covid bored you’d think one could read it and then respond with a sentence. I didn’t get that “code reply” he gave either, and there’s plenty of time around now.

  1. When Hubert Humphrey died, his estate was worth well less than $1 million. he was Mayor of Minneapolis, MN from 1945 to 1948 and a US Senator from 1949 to 1964, he then became Vice President after that.

    He was the “Happy Warrior”. And the only politician in modern times who did not accept bribes or insider information. Though he was a Democrat, I honor his memory, and I’m a libertarian!

    • Former President Harry Truman reportedly refused Secret Service protections after he left the White House at the end of his term – saying it was an unnecessary use of American tax money – and he (and Mrs. Truman) drove back to their personal home in their own car!

    • Maybe Humphrey was a decent man when Democrats still believed in American principles. However, back in 1968 my sainted Grandmother called him, and I quote…”a pinko”.

  2. can you sing tenor? like ten or twelve miles away?
    “my sister has a falsetto voice.”
    “that’s a nice, my sister, she has a false set o’ teeth.”

    • I read it in 2014…wtf does Trump have to do with this TDS boy?!? Oh yeah I may or may not carry a gun. None of your business!

        • But you apparently care enough to come back to see if anyone replied to you, and to take the time to respond with a follow-up comment.

  3. While I respect all the reasons the author provided, I did not see clarification of where he lives & carries. Here in Los Angeles County, you have absolutely no legal option to carry if you’re not part of the privileged Blue Team (sworn LE). Even transport of a gun in your vehicle is extremely limited, and more or less worthless in a time of emergency.

    We’re still waiting for Young v. Hawaii to make its way through the (Democrat led, of course) appeals process for open carry.

    • He did mention that he is an ex-leo. “…even during the many years on the police force in my misspent (relative) youth, people, upon learning my job, would exclaim in surprise, “You don’t look like a cop!””
      Once you served the State in a proper costume, you are “special people” and therefore you can carry anywhere.

      • Someone that is NOT necessarily true – you have to meet the criteria under LEOSA in order to be able to carry ‘anywhere’ – and there are places even those are not able to carry.

  4. I read the whole article. With home quarantine who doesn’t have the time? I thought it interesting and the author did make some good points. However, for me the reason for carrying a firearm is a little more simple. I carry a firearm to shoot anything/anyone that needs to be shot.

  5. I honestly don’t care if you spent a lot of time balanced on the end of Rudolf Nureyev’s fist. Those are good reasons to carry a gun though.

  6. 90/o of what is written here applies regardless of your attitude/capability towards being personally armed on a daily basis. I live in a country where carrying small arms for protection is not legal. I am not discouraged. The 80/20 rule applies here. 20 percent cause 80 percent of the problems. Policemen know what I’m saying. If you remain situationally aware, you will avoid the 20 percent and thus 80 percent of the problems. The actions of lunatics, fanatics and terrorists are rare and random. The best protection is to use your democratic powers to ensure you live in a just and inclusive society. This takes the steam out of the radical disaffected. If your first choice to solve social problems is a firearm, perhaps some social skills development may be in order. Otherwise, avoid stupid people in stupid places. Trouble always finds those looking for it. Be careful and show compassion. God bless America and all those living with Trump’s incompetence and lying.

    • Thanks, @ssh0le. Every time some foreign dIckhead shows up here, it makes me more and more happy that I’m an American and you’re not.

    • Hi, Martin.
      If it only was as easy as avoiding the trouble!
      Often, the trouble finds those not looking for it and is unamused with their social skills. Then the gun in hand is worth more than hundred cops on the other side of a phone call.

      You just don’t understand what you have read, if you read it at all. You don’t live here. The 2A is not about self defense or regular crime. Firearm is never the first choice to solve social (or any other) problems. But it is always an option. It’s good to have options.

      Some would comment on your shitty, pissant, weakling populated hellhole slave country, where you can’t legally carry a firearm, because your betters in your government don’t trust you with it. But I couldn’t be bothered. You may want to return the favor and refrain from comments on what we do in our country. That includes our sitting President.
      Thank you.

    • “Those who willingly and meekly surrender to criminals surrender more than valuables; they surrender their dignity and honor; they surrender civilization itself.” Corollary: A government that denies peaceful and law-abiding individuals the ability to defend themselves against criminals perverts the dignity and honor of the law — and would surrender civilization itself.

      Maybe you should’ve taken a closer look at Mr. McDaniel’s list, Mr. Oh-so-civilized.

  7. I don’t need a reason. But… the fact that someone would actually write down a whole list of reasons why they should exercise their God given right is really impressive.

  8. If I were to carry a handgun it would be because I want to, because this is The United States of America!

  9. Gun laws got worse since 2014 because this Liberal/progressive gun owner voted for them, and the socialist progressives politicians who wrote them.

    You can rely on Liberal gun owners to vote away their own rights.

  10. “That’s why we have a Second Amendment, not for hunting, not for self-defense, but to allow the common man–if necessary–to resist a tyrannical government and always to deter tyranny.”


    And quit bullshittin, you DO have a speargun in the shower. And now, so do I. It’s just practical… I mean, water, duh.

  11. I carry because it is my duty as an American. It is my responsibility to protect myself and those who I am responsible for. It is not the governments responsibility nor is it my neighbors, it is mine.

  12. Above post incorrect. 73 means “Best Regards”. I’ve been a licensed “ham” for almost 62 years.
    BTW, 88 means “love and kisses”.
    All comes from wire line Morse used by Western Union and Postal Telegraph companies.


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